Nick Allegretti obviously was a little bit concerned last weekend as the seventh round of the NFL Draft was winding down.
The former Lincoln-Way East standout was a two-year captain and three-year staple on the offensive line where he had 36 consecutive starts while playing almost every snap for Illini coach Lovie Smith. Illinois has had a draft selection in 43 of the past 47 years and now has 242 all-time selections.The Kansas City Chiefs wrapped up their three-day rookie minicamp Monday, and by the sound of it, head coach Andy Reid came away pleased with what he saw.
Reid spoke with reporters following the conclusion of Monday’s session and had positive things to say about a number of players, as well as the group of prospects the Chiefs assembled as a whole. Over 70 players attended the three-day minicamp, including the six players the Chiefs selected in the 2019 NFL Draft (wide receiver Mecole Hardman, safety Juan Thornhill, defensive tackle Khalen Saunders, cornerback Rashad Fenton, running back Derwin Thompson, and offensive lineman Nick Allegretti), 17 undrafted signings and a number of tryout players.
“I think overall, this was the best overall group at all positions that we had, just where you could go out and really compete here and make it real,” Reid said.
Reid spoke the most about Hardman, who was making his debut after being the first player the Chiefs selected in the 2019 NFL Draft (Round 2, pick 56 overall). What Reid liked the seeing from Hardman was the improvement he showed from the start of minicamp to its conclusion.
“Every day he got a little better. These are all new — these routes are new to him,” Reid said. “He did a nice job in the red zone, which normally is the toughest place to work, but he did extremely well there. He had a good finish.”
NASHVILLE – Former University of Illinois offensive lineman Nick Allegretti was selected in the seventh round of the 2019 NFL Draft on Saturday in Nashville. Allegretti was selected by the Kansas City Chiefs with the 216th overall pick.
Allegretti is the sixth Illini drafted in Kansas City Chiefs history and the first since Jeff Allen in 2012. Allen, also an offensive lineman, helped the Chiefs to the AFC Championship game in 2019.
Allegretti was a two-time captain and finished his football career with 36 consecutive starts while playing nearly every snap on the o-line over the last three seasons. A second-team All-Big Ten selection, Allegretti was graded as the third-best offensive guard in the nation in 2018 by Pro Football Focus, allowing just one QB hit and zero sacks on the season while anchoring an offensive line that paved the way for the nation’s 12th-ranked rushing offense. PFF graded him as the No. 6 run-blocking guard and the No. 11 pass-blocking guard in the nation.
Reid said there was one route in particular Hardman had problems with in the early going of minicamp. But he quickly bounced back to show improvement, which was something that left an impression.
Dozens of drafted rookies, undrafted free agent signings and young players asked to try out came together on Saturday for opening day of a three-day rookie minicamp for the Kansas City Chiefs. It was also a time to hear from head coach Andy Reid as he updated reporters on several players.
Reid spoke about a few of the team’s six recent draftees from the 2019 Draft. He noted seventh-round pick Nick Allegretti will be working at center to start. The 6’4″, 320-pound offensive lineman played as a guard for most of his collegiate career at the University of Illinois, but he impressed at center at the Senior Bowl. The Chiefs will enjoy his versatility if he looks good in the middle.
“Nick is an offensive lineman. He can play center or guard, a dual position guy. He can probably kick out and play tackle. He’s not a small guy. We like him in those two positions, guard and center. He’ll be working center with the first group and then getting a little guard work here as we go. He’s very intelligent … he’s a two-time team captain … he’s a tough kid who moves around well.”
Running back Darwin Thompson out of Utah State was praised as a sleeper pick for the Chiefs in the sixth round. Reid provided a brief update on Thompson, saying the best comparison to a player he’s had before is former Chiefs back Charcandrick West